Drums and Percussion FAQs

Submitted By Darcy Mulchy

What do you like about drums and percussion? (Character, colour, tonality, history)
I love being able to create energy in music and influence the way others around me play their instrument. Because drums are such a physical instrument, often using all 4 limbs, you are completely immersed in the music and focussed on what you are playing. Being a drummer and not being able to play pitches, for the most part, forces me to be creative in different ways and allows me to explore the many different textures and tonal qualities that can be extracted from the drums. For example, using sticks, brushes, mallets or hands on the drums create vastly different sounds. Being a drummer and percussionist means that I have to play a wide variety of instruments, from timpani and xylophone to triangle and tambourine, each percussive instrument provides its own challenge and unique technique. Playing all of these different instruments provides me a wide variety of contexts in which I can perform, whether it be a symphony orchestra, jazz trio or heavy metal band playing drums and percussion have taken me to some amazing places and every day I get to do something different. With so many different styles of music and so many different drumming traditions, there is a lot for me to develop and I will never run out of new things to learn, which is one of the things I love most about music.

How would you describe your teaching philosophy? How to make drums lessons fun?
I believe in getting people playing along with the music they love as soon as possible and think it is really important for students to have input and choice in what they are learning in lessons. I believe it is important to have a good technical basis but the most important thing to do is enjoy playing music.
Because of the physical nature of drumming there is a lot of repetition. The most important thing for a drummer to do is play in time, so we spend a lot of time working with a metronome. In order to make this more fun I like to get students practicing with musical loops, this gives the student a musical reference for what they are developing and can help them to lock in better with the metronome. I like to use all different styles of music and we will often create short songs in lessons which students can then use to practice their technical exercises.